The Times: Fishing curbs fail to save salmon from swift decline

The Times comment on the latest report – ‘The Marine Assessment 2020’ published by Naturescot.

The decline of Scotland’s wild salmon is spiralling despite measures to save the “king of fish”, a report has warned.

Closing coastal netting fisheries and encouraging anglers to release fish they have caught briefly stopped the fall in numbers but it has not brought a permanent revival.

Salmon stocks have continued to plummet over the past decade with sea trout in even steeper decline, according to an assessment by NatureScot, a government agency.

The Marine Assessment 2020, billed as the most comprehensive assessment of Scotland’s seas to date, said there was some evidence that sea health was improving but warned of a “mixed picture” for many fish species.

It will add to concerns that wild salmon will become extinct in the next 20 to 30 years, mainly because of climate and habitat change in their north Atlantic feeding grounds and their home rivers.